Storage Tips

How to Store Antiques & Art

Antiques and artwork are investments that you’ll cherish for years, so finding a secure place to store and preserve them is necessary. Keep your valuable treasures protected with the storage tips from Extra Space Storage below.

Things you’ll need: furniture polish, leather conditioner, cleaning cloth, tools (screwdriver, drill, etc.), bubble wrap, storage containers, waterproof label, and a marker.


Step 1: Make an Inventory List

Protect your investment in case of damage by creating an inventory list for insurance purposes. Your inventory list should include the name of each piece (e.g., antique vase) along with any other identifiable information. You can even take a photo of each piece to keep with your list for additional visual reference and proof of ownership.


Step 2: Clean & Treat Each Piece

Keep dust and debris away—and protect fragile fabrics like leather—by cleaning and treating each antique and art piece before storage. The actual cleaning and treating process will depend on what you have, but in general, you should wipe down everything, including metal, to prevent damage from dirt and prevent rust formation. You should also treat leather items with high-quality leather conditioner and spray wooden items with furniture polish for long-term protection.


Step 3: Disassemble Weak or Heavy Furniture

Fragile or excessively heavy furniture is often difficult to move and more susceptible to damage. Prevent potential breakage, scratches, or other damage by disassembling these types of items before storage. Just be sure to keep all assembly pieces (like screws and bolts) in a plastic bag taped to the item’s underside.


Step 4: Carefully Pack Antiques & Art Into Storage Containers

Take extra care to prevent any damage to valuable antiques and artwork by wrapping each piece with bubble wrap. Once wrapped, place each valuable into a sturdy storage container—plastic containers are an especially good choice because they’re less likely to break than cardboard boxes. Don’t overpack each storage container because it can cause knicks, cracks, and breakage. It’s also a good idea to get storage containers explicitly made to protect artwork and mirrors. Once you’ve packed everything, clearly label what’s inside with a waterproof label and marker.


Step 5: Find a Secure Self Storage Facility

When storing valuable artwork, antique furniture, or family heirlooms, security needs to be top of mind. Extra Space Storage utilizes advanced security measures for just such storage needs, so be sure to look for a self storage location that has one or more of the following features:

  • Perimeter fencing around the property

  • Electronic gate access with keypad entry

  • Individually-alarmed storage units

  • Security access to your floor only (for multi-level facilities)

  • Facility manager who lives on-site

  • Video surveillance cameras throughout the property

  • Controlled-access building with indoor storage units


Step 6: Rent a Climate-Controlled Storage Unit

Extreme heat and cold can wreak havoc on upholstery, paint, wood, metal, and other materials when not correctly stored. With storage units with climate control, it’s easier to keep antiques and art safe from damaging temperatures at Extra Space Storage. This convenient amenity keeps your storage unit between 55 and 80 degrees at all times to provide peace of mind and year-round protection for your valuables.


Step 7: Carefully Store Your Antiques & Art

Never place your fragile antiques and artwork on the floor of your storage unit. Instead, raise all storage containers with pallets or shelving units. Always store heavier storage items on the bottom lightest on the top. Make sure the labels are pointing outward so you can easily find what you’re looking for when you need to take items out of storage. Use furniture sheets, covers, or heavy-duty bags to protect upholstered antiques that don’t fit in boxes; just don’t stack furniture because this can create too much pressure and cause damage.